Racial Gap in College Enrollment Rates Is Widening

Nationwide, 68.6 percent of all 2005 high school graduates had enrolled in college as of October 2005. This is the highest overall college enrollment rate in history.

But when we break down the figures by race we find that a significant gap remains. There were 2,147,000 white high school graduates in 2005, and 69.4 percent of them went on to enroll in college. There were 354,000 African-American high school graduates. Of these, 201,000, or 56.8 percent, went on to enroll in college by October 2005.

Furthermore, the black college enrollment rate remained below the level that existed in 1997. But the college enrollment rate for whites was at an all-time high.

Since 1999 the racial gap in college enrollment rates between blacks and whites has doubled from about 6 percentage points to 12.6 percentage points.